Love is not fate.
There is no true soul mate.
Love is not grasped
And it is not a prize to fight for.
Love is given.
To someone else.
If you seek what you can get from love,
Then it is love that you will never find.
Seek instead what you can do for others.
It is then you shall find love within.
Henko No Kaze
The Angel with Red Hair
Awareness slowly returned, as did the sensation of being pulled in too many directions. Heﾅ er -She- just lay there as the chaos still rumbled around her, wearing a tux if her memory matched the feeling of the fabric that incased her. Long used to such stupidity, she used the time to think and take stock of her life up to date. Fianc?s, rivals, enemies... Did he even have one friend amongst them? What had they been doing all this time? What really was 'honorable'?
As she stared at the ceiling, her life started to become clear to her for the first time. She had never really asked those and many other questions that were rolling around in her head before. No new knowledge was gain from the mental exorcise, only a clarity of situation. She was in a trap. One that would last forever if things didn't change soon; and at the rate they were going, any change would more then likely be one that would destroy more then one person.
But maybe there was a way. However, the answers alluded her. Getting up, the red head escaped the grasp of the girls around her; gently, but firmly. Somehow the room sensed the difference in her stance, the brokenness with which she walked out of war zone once know as the Tendo Dojo. Not even hearing the calls from her family, she trudged out into the evening air.
The world around her melted away as realization upon realization unfolded in her mind. The absolute futility that she lived, everyone's hopes and desires always relied on her being or not being. Rivals just wanted her out of the way, while enemies wanted her dead. Her would be lovers wanted her by their side to fulfill their own selfish dreams, and the adults did nothing to help. Nothing changed, nothing moved one way or another; all because she wouldn't make a choice.
But what choice did she have?
Arriving at one of the bridges near the boarder of the ward, she found herself beneath the structure, looking into the water. The reflection she saw was just as it had been in Jusenkyo, a face not his, but perhaps would have had he been born a she in the first place. It cause the person looking back to feel familiar while still being someone else. After a moment, she took out the string in her hair and undid her trademark braid. It was that image of a girl with loose, fiery hair that brought the final question to her mind.
Who was she?
It wasn't that she was suffering a bout of amnesia. Rather, she never really thought about herself... Himself outside of martial arts much. What were her favorite things, what would she do after school? Did she really want to carry on in her father's footsteps? Who was she going to marry? Was she going to marry? How did she really feel about her curse?
These and so many more questions just kept rising to the surface, one right after the other. 'Would'ves', 'could'ves', and 'should'ves' all swirling about in her mind, a white noise that would not go away. White noise turned to harsh static, static turned to a near scream as the unanswered questions just kept revolving again and again.
Just as she was about to breakdown for the first time since the early years of her training journey, a voice drew her attention. Hiding her inner turmoil with a stern face, she addressed the intruder that would interrupt her sorrowful spiral...
"Look, Haruka, I'm just saying that we need to get her out more. Chibi-usa is her only friend right now that is her age; and even if you count the princess and her guard, she still doesn't have many people that she can genuinely go to for help. You and I are still in high school for crying out loud," Michiru exasperated.
"I know, but I don't feel right with letting her go running about without us by her side. I agree that she has been doing better, health wise, since her rebirth. I'm just worried that she'll have some sort of relapse. I mean, what got her ill in the first place? Was is just a cold gone out of control? Was it all in her father's mind? Or was it genetic? If it was the latter, then how can we be sure that it's not just a matter of time before she falls ill again?" Haruka sighed. "I think we should just keep on like we have been. Maybe when she is older-"
"But she is older now," the aqua tressed woman interrupted. Her voice was forced, but measured, as she was trying to remain calm. "These are the most important years of her young life. In a short time, she'll be in junior high, then high school. Don't you remember what those days were like? What they're still like?
"Yeah, a monster every week," the blonde jokingly replied in a doomed attempt to lighted the mood.
The Senshi of Neptune and adoptive mother of the girl in question was about to snap, "Besides our night job. The friends, the rivals, and the enemies of a teenager. The good, the bad, and the ugly of school yard drama. Haruka, these help shape us as we discover ourselves and find our place in the world."
"But she doesn't have enemies anymore. Now that she has been reborn, she's a couple grades lower then those ornery, snobbish girls," Haruka offered, hoping that would help her side.
"You just don't get it!" The force of her voice flew in a wave throughout the room as Michiru continued to speak, "Yes, she doesn't have to deal with those girls, which is good; but you don't really need enemies to define who you are. However, she doesn't have anyone who is on her side either. You have all your racing buddies. I have my fellow musicians. Even our princess has that Osaka girl and that arcade clerk."
"Michiru, I don't care how you put it. I won't change my mind! Hotaru has enough friends in us and that's final!" the resident father figure snapped as she stomped out of the house. The echo of her last statement rang harshly in echo about the whole house.
A moment later, the slam of a car door could be heard, followed by the squealing of tires; a tell tale sign that Haruka would be heading for the tracks. A part of Michiru was glad that her partner was at least smart enough when angry to go somewhere where she wouldn't put people in too much danger at least. The rest of her was quivering with the pent up stress. She wished she could be the one stomp off. She wished she could have the last say. It was funny in a way, in all things outside the house; battles, school, shopping, etc, she was the one that often took the lead. But when it came to matters of the family, Haruka really was the 'papa'.
"Is that all Hotaru is to you, Haruka? A friend?" Michiru whispered haltingly as she held back the torrent of tears wanting to be freed of their prison. After a moment, she felt a hand rest on her shoulder. She didn't have to look back, she already knew who it was.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Setsuna softly questioned.
The apparent matriarch of the house shook her head, "No, I think I'm just going to go for a walk to get some air and calm my nerves."
Setsuna smirked gently, though still the look of concern remained, "Why don't you just play a tune? That usually helps."
"Not this time. I... I don't think I could keep a steady enough hand to make more then a screeching noise," was the reply. Though still greatly wound up, Michiru gave a token smirk in return before stiffly walking out the door.
At the top of the stairs, a girl sat; having heard all that had transpired. She didn't know what to do. She understood both their reasoning, her 'father's ' overprotective nature and her 'mother's' desire to see her child be all that she could dream of. She just couldn't pick a side. She loved them both too much.
For a moment she wondered if real children felt this way when they parents fought. Did they feel caught in the middle? Did they ever choose a side? Did they feel just as powerless? Were they ever so confused that the only thing that they could do was cry?
With that last thought, she wiped away the streams still flowing and went to bed. It was still just before dinner time, but she could not stomach food at the moment any more then the pain that currently took residence in her belly.
It hurt, down into the deepest part of her being. They were soul-mates, destined to be together forever. But with the way they have been fighting lately...
It had begun simply enough. A disagreement dealing with whether or not Hotaru should take classes outside the normal school curriculum; stuff like swimming, or ballet, maybe even martial arts. Sure these were available in school, but neither parent could watch over her during that time. The argument itself was about whether it should be ballet or martial arts. In the end they had decided against it as she was still too young at the time.
Only now, after Hotaru had a couple a growth spurts, Haruka was still in that overprotective state. It was sort of ironic really. But that was also the problem; as time wore on things grew steadily strained between the two of them. If they were really meant for each other, then shouldn't things be at least a little less tense, if not entirely more peaceful?
Was she wrong for trying to open the door for Hotaru to be more active? Their latest fight, as most of the rest these days, involved a decision about Hotaru; more specifically whether it was okay for her to join an after-school club. It appeared innocent enough, but Haruka just didn't seem to think so.
Michiru wandered for hours, steering well clear of any place that she had spent any meaningful time with Haruka. Her journey took her into the heart of Nerima, looking over a particular bridge. Finding this spot as good a place as any to finish working out her thoughts, she stopped and leaned against the edge of the guard wall on one side of the bridge. Taking in the site of the skyline, she returned to her disquieted musings.
It was getting harder each day. She had figured that they were Senshi and that because they were going to virtually live forever, they would -be- together till the end of time. Weren't they soul-mates? And if so, why did it hurt so much? Adversity was supposed to help build a relationship; but how could such a thing happen when the adversity is the one you love?
It was this moment she felt the most horrible. Not toward Haruka, but herself. Every time she asked the question, she felt that she was betraying their bond. But she had to ask it, even if just to reassure herself.
"Do I really love her?"
Through the death busters and the animamates, and even Galaxia, they never faltered in their devotion to each other. So what was different now? She refused to believe it to be Hotaru. She would never let go of the youngest senshi; that girl had already been through too much to be abandoned.
But if not Hotaru, then what?
As the sun was beginning to set, she was brought out of her dark musings by the sound of sniffling. Knowing full well that she had yet to even begin to think of crying, she looked about herself. Following the sound her attention was directed below the bridge. Resolving to find out just what poor soul was quivering in a sorrow that resonated deeply with her own, she went down the hill in the shadow of the bridge. What she saw when she stepped around the corner took her breath away.
Standing underneath the structure was a red haired beauty. Given the youthful face and compact build, she could be no more than fifteen or sixteen. What looked to be a white tuxedo sans jacket adorned her short yet lithe form poorly, appearing to very well be a size or three too big for her frame. Her bosom was of a healthy and quite generous mass, for one of Japanese decent at least. Fiery crimson locks flowed freely in the warm summer breeze, bearing the marks of recently being freed of a pigtail that was probably a trademark for this girl, if Michiru was any judge of the nature of hair well kept or otherwise; which she was. Sparkling blue eyes shimmered with unshed tears, waiting for a freedom that the jailer seemed strongly inclined not to grant, held in a doll-like face that was both hard and fragile. She stood there looking at a small measure of string she held in her hand while the sun set behind her, casting her in a warm glow, a halo like that of a divine being; and Michiru made known to the world just that.
"A beautiful angel..." though she spoke in hushed tones, it was still heard by the one in question. This fact was made evident by the sharp glare Michiru had received courtesy of the distraught divinity.
The voice that issued out of the elegant lips was a sparkling river in the tone of soprano, but the words poured out in the vocalization where anything but cultured; "Go away, don' need none of yer sympathy. Jes' let me alone."
Despite her words, Michiru could see the desperation in the deep azure sky of her eyes. Though not as great of a reader of persons as Setsuna, she was no slouch herself. Unless she missed her guess, this poor soul needed a friend more then she would ever admit. So, instead of leaving, Michiru stood firm and looked right back into those fearful eyes. "No." was all she said.
"What do ya want with me? Hey, ya ain't another fianc? are ya?" the red head spoke in a dangerous tone.
This took Michiru totally by surprise. What in the world made the girl say such a peculiar thing? For that matter what was she doing talking to her. This girl was rude and didn't appear very cultured. But that was just it. Something about the girl tugged at Michiru's heart; something told her that this girl wasn't normally like this. What the girl was like, however, was a mystery to her.
Truth be told, she was just looking for a way to get her mind off of her own doubts and fears about a certain someone, and anyone or anything would do right now. Taking a deep breath, Michiru spoke, "No, nothing like that. I just heard a noise and came to check things out, that's all." She had a feeling that it would not be conducive to either of their states of mind if she brought up that the sound was close to that of crying. After all, the redhead seemed very intent on not doing that very thing.
Again the aqua tressed woman could hear something in the girl's voice. She had been hearing it since the moment the redhead spoke; but for the life of her, she couldn't figure out what it was. So she just listened for a moment as the girl in question began to speak again, "Well? Ya came, ya saw; now go away."
There is was. Michiru wasn't imagining things. True the words that the girl used words were harsh; however, she could hear the same deep hurt that she herself felt. Pain, yes, but there was also hope somewhere in those eyes. The same hope Michiru was trying to find at the moment. "I'm not leaving. Nor am I here just to watch you wallow in despair." She took a deep breath as she continued, "I can see that whatever happened has hurt you deeply; however, I'm dealing with my own problems. I figured that maybe we could help each other. Or we could just hang out. They say misery loves company after all. And if not that, then we could just call it 'getting away from everything'."
The angel seemed to contemplate the offer for a moment, "No strings attached?" she said, amusingly enough, while looking at the thread in her hand.
"None. I just need something to take my mind of things for a little while," Michiru responded.
Another moment, "...Are ya paying?"
Michiru smiled; it seemed that she was finally getting through to this girl, "Yes. after all, I am the one inviting you."
The journey was long and quiet, but it allowed both traveling partners a chance to collect their thoughts and at least try to relax. After about an hour and a half, they arrived at the Crown Arcade, a popular hang out of many teens. The recent addition of a restaurant type section was the aqua haired violinist's destination. She was kind of hoping that she would run into one of the inners for some extra support in helping this strange girl. But sadly, It seemed that it was a bit too late in the day, or rather night. Sitting down to order would prove to be an undertaking that would drain more of Michiru's wallet then she originally guessed.
Michiru wondered if this strange girl was a relation to her princess, not that eating habits were a good judge of lineage; but with the way this girl ate, she still had to wonder. And even the way the redhead went about using her cuteness to score a few extra scoops of ice cream for desert helped the picture. She just wished that the two wouldn't meet anytime soon, for it was a sure bet that two of them would easily empty the wallets of those that had accompanied them.
The redhead in question was just finishing off the last spoon full of the mountainous confection. The pure, sugar induced glee was a stark contrast to the grim countenance that she wore the whole way from the bridge in Nerima and still adorned her face not ten minutes ago. Sighing in contentment, she pushed the gutted bowl away from her as she snatched up her drink to sip on. Seeing that the girl was finished, Michiru couldn't hold back her curiosity any longer, "So what happened, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Mmm?" was the reply.
"I mean, you where standing out there, aloneﾅ"
The girl's voice broke a little at being reminded of why she was here in the first place, "I'm always alone." She sat there for a moment, appearing to wonder whether or not to continue. "Well, physically, I got a lotta friends. It's jus' that they aren't really good friends, I guess. I could never really go to them fer much outside of the various quests we'd take on."
The word 'quests' seemed out of place, but Michiru was more worried about why the girl was on the verge of tears. "I don't understand. If they are your friends, then shouldn't you be able to talk to them?"
The redhead gave Michiru a searching glare, "I thought ya weren't gonna butt in on my business?"
"I never said I wouldn't ask; but if you don't want me to pry, then I won't," Michiru finished amicably.
Silence reigned for a few moments, before the redhead spoke again, "It's always the same. Everyone I know wants somethin' from me. The hardest thing about it is that I'm not much better." The girl paused for a moment, thinking deeply before she continued, "Lately I've been thinking a lot about my life. A... um... friend of mine was nearly killed recently and it's made me realize that things in my life have ta change. Iﾅ"
Michiru watched as the girl was still trying to keep from crying. Gently, she tried to put her hand on the redhead's as a show of support; but the girl shied away. Seeing that she couldn't help directly, not yet at least, Michiru decided to just wait for the girl to regain control of herself.
"I," the girl finally continued, "I don't know how ta do it without dishonorin' someone in the process. I know I'm not as honorable as I could be, but there are somethings that I jus' won't do."
"Well, I don't know if it will help, but I've always been told that the only thing in the world you have control over is yourself. So the change has to start with you." Michiru spoke thoughtfully.
The redhead harrumphed, "Easy for ya ta say, ya don' have at least twenty people trying ta tell ya what ta do every wakin' moment of yer day."
Michiru eyed the girl speculatively, "I doubt it's that bad."
The girl sighed, "It feels like that sometimes though. Today was a great example."
"What happened today?"
Before Michiru could get an answer, someone called out to her from acrossed the caf? The voice belonged to Haruka, of course, and she appeared to be worried about something; though at the same time there was relief in those eyes of her's. "Michiru! We've been trying to contact you for the last ten minutes. What's going on?"
"I must have left my 'cell' at home," Michiru realized while speaking in a way to keep those not in 'the know' from knowing what was being said.
Haruka just waved it off, "Don't worry about it, Usagi and the other's just wanted to have us on call for the project," she said, continuing the charade while informing her other half as to the situation. Then she notice the girl on the other side of the table, "And who is this?"
Before the senshi of Uranus could get an answer to her question, her 'phone' beeped at her. Knowing that was her cue, Michiru bowed apologetically to the girl she had spoken with. "Well, I gotta go. Some friends of mine need my help on a big project that's due; but I do hope we can meet again sometime." Waving goodbye, she left with Haruka after paying the cashier.
Meanwhile, the redhead, one Saotome Ranma, let out a breath in relief. She wasn't really sure if she wanted to tell a total stranger about the nut house that was her life. Looking up at the clock above the cashier, she realized that she had to get going herself.
After all, she may have just ate, but there is always room for Kasumi's cooking.
"So, who was the redhead?" Haruka took a quick look over to her partner to see her reaction to her next statement. "She was really cute, wasn't she?" she teased.
"She was practically crying when I found her," Michiru replied simply. She could have sworn she saw something else in that look the blonde had flashed her, but paid it no mind. Haruka was a huge flirt after all. "I thought she could use some cheering up. It just didn't seem right for her to be like that."
"What do you mean?" Haruka returned with a curious tone.
Michiru looked of into space as if searching for the answer, "I am not sure. Call it a hunch."
"Mmm. Well, okay. Anyways, I've been thinkingﾅ" Haruka paused to swallow her pride, "I think you were right, we should let Hotaru join a school club." She turned to face her lover, flashing a smile before returning her eyes to the road ahead of them, "After all, your only young once. Right?"
Michiru giggled a little at that. Suddenly she remembered something. "Ah, shoot!"
"What?" Haruka asked in worry; Michiru wasn't prone to such outbursts often.
"I forgot to ask that girl's name," Michiru admitted with an embarrassed blush.
Over the roofs of Tokyo, Ranma dashed and hopped. After a quick change in the bathroom at the caf? he had left to return home. While he raced over the rooftops, he was once again deep in thought. The journey to that Crown Arcade place gave him just enough time to bury some of his pain beneath the great swell that was his pride; but somehow that girl was slowly getting under his skin, drawing out the 'inner Ranma'; a part of him that he himself had yet to discover. What was more odd was how she handled 'her', the manner she used was similar to how Dr. Tofu acted; but there was something else there, something more personal. Could this be what talking to a real friend felt like? But they had only known each other for only a few hours, could they really count as friends? Regardless, he was happy that he met a possible new friend, but he was cursing his luck; partly for the fact that he forgot to ask her name, but also because they had gone to a shop practically on the other side of Tokyo. Oh well, he probably missed dinner anyway.
Any further thoughts were interrupted by a sudden explosion a block away. Changing his trajectory, he made his way over in a few long jumps; little knowing that what he would find would forever change him.
There in the street below him, a battle took place between the infamous Sailor Senshi and a hard drive nightmare. The monster of the week was composed of a great variety of computer components, but none the less retained the often common female likeness. Not that being girl-like helped in the looks department, the thing was still ugly as all hell. Having heard a little about them from various snippets of conversations around the school that didn't have to do with him or any other the other crazies of Nerima, he decided to watch them a bit first, see what they do. After all, they maybe girls, but they had been doing this for the past two or three years... if the rumors are to be believed that is.
As he watched, he found their tactics to be lacking, though their experience seemed to be giving them a boost. They were very powerful, just as he had heard; but it seemed that the main 'tactics' that they exhibited were 'throw enough power around to destroy the enemy and half the block' and 'run like your life depended on it'.
After about five minutes of silly dance-like attacks, klutzy dodges, and massive property damage, Ranma had decided that enough was enough. But before he could join the fray, two new comers appeared on the roof on the other side of the street. It was weird, he could see them as plain as day; but he couldn't tell who they were. Which was a pain, as he felt like he should know the one with the blue bow and green skirt. And yet, while they did this, they are still able to project their presence as to distract the youma while they make their grand entrance. He could feel their presence almost tangibly.
Taking their stances, the two introduced themselves. The first to speak was the one that Ranma could have sworn he knew, "Invited by a new age, I'm the elegant Sailor Neptune," she spoke eloquently.
"Invited by a new age, I'm the magnificent Sailor Uranus," the blue skirted, yellow bowed senshi proudly declared.
Hearing the call of their teammates, the Senshi of the inner planets felt a wave of relief. They knew they would win, somehow. They always did. They had to. And now that Uranus and Neptune were here, they had it in the bag.
As the two outer senshi descended, they cut loose with water and wind, pushing back the digi-youma and giving the others some breathing room. The inners used the opportunity to gather around Mercury to see what she could find out about their foe.
"I can't get a good reading on it," Mercury began, "but given what it's primary components are made of, it shouldn't be to hard to bring it down now that Neptune and Uranus are here."
"So what's the plan," said an impatient Mars; she had finally found a guy to date and she was already running late.
"I'll lay down some fog while you guys surround it. Mars, you aim for it's feet, then Jupiter sends in some lightning from above. The fire will melt the silicon and the electric shock should short circuit it. If that doesn't work then the rest of us will already be in position, at which point we shower it with our strongest attacks."
The bubbly Venus chirped, "So basically, we shoot till it's dead. Gotcha!"
After the momentary sweatdrop from the others, the plan was set into motion.
As the youma was no smarter then the rest, more so as it was a rogue, it was a foregone conclusion that the Senshi would succeed. With practiced ease, the warriors of love and justice ran the strategy. As anticipated, it jumped, avoiding Mars's fire, and some built in surge protectors helped the creature shrug of Jupiter's charged strike. In the end, it was once again Sailor Moon's attack that would win the day.
With the enemy vanquished, the public was sure to come back to investigate the scene and ask for autographs. So with a quick cheer of victory and pats on the back all around, the Senshi took to the roofs. Only Pluto and Neptune noticed the white tuxedo-clan boy on the roof for just a moment before he disappeared himself. Neptune gave a wary glace while she filed away that they had been watched by a stranger that appeared to be dressed in a fashion that would suggest he was the next big 'general' of whatever evil they where going to face, then any sort of law abiding citizen of Tokyo. That is, unless he's from that nut house that Haruka and Makoto were always going on about, Nerima. Unfortunately, he had been to far away to get a good look at either way.
Pluto just smirked.
Ranma sat on the roof above the guest room of the Tendo homestead, deep in thought. When he had seen the Senshi fight, something moved inside him; but he wasn't sure what. Something about them had impressed him. It wasn't their fighting ability; overall, they weren't all that impressive in the combative arts. Nor strategy for that matter. All they seemed to do was pound the monster with magic till it was dead. He knew it wasn't their skill, but instead something about the way they carried themselves throughout the battle. It was that something that he felt was missing out of his life.
For the first time, he could see the walls of his little world fall away, and a new horizon present itself at last. Ever since the adventure in Jusendo, Ranma had already been reevaluating his life on the whole; however, now it was clear enough to see that he has been holding himself back in more ways then he had ever imagined, and now he could take the first steps toward a new and better life.
But the question was how?
Ranma pondered on this well past the midnight hour when he had finally come upon the answer. The Senshi somehow held the key to the answer he sought; that much he was certain of. Well, them and that aqua haired girl he met earlier as well. As far as she was concerned, Ranma hoped they could meet again; of course he also hoped that the fianc? squad didn't catch wind of the first real friend he might have ever made. Ranma was sure that they would blow the whole thing way out of proportion. Bringing his thoughts into focus, he thought it over from a battle field perspective; an appropriate point of view if the worst should happen.
He's objective: to be the best he can be in everyway he could.
The paths that he has before him: A new friend and the Senshi.
And that brought him to the how. It took only a moment for him to figure out what kind of strategy to use in relation to his new friend; stay a girl. That was how they met, and it's less likely to draw the attention of the others if they just see two girls just having fun. He could help solidify that image by continuing to keep 'her' hair down and dressing in stuff that's not a part of his usual fare. Keeping his new friend safe, at least for the time being, was taken care of.
With one path plotted, Ranma turned his attention to the other. The Senshi. It took him till almost dawn when he had a sudden epiphany. To learn from them, he should become one of them. Chances are that they would have a hard time dealing with a guy who could fight on par power wise, and better skill wise, then them; but if he was just another senshi...
Well, to be honest, they probably still be wary of 'her', and he really didn't want to dress up like a girl; but he would fare a lot better. And the best part would be that he would have a built in 'secret identity' through her friend. If he played his cards right, he could kept his new life outside the box and outside Nerima separate from the insanity that resides here.
For a while at least.
So that left one last problem: How was he going pull off posing as a senshi?
It was just after dawn when he heard he father waking from his slumber in the room below him. The grumpy noises that issued out of the sleeping quarters told Ranma of the displeasure that Genma was feeling at not finding he son to spar with. Lazy he maybe, but Ranma's father was at least a good teacher; well, when he wasn't being an idiot that is. Hell, the panda man even came up with two original styles to add to the schools repertoire.
Wait! That was it! The Umisenken and the Yamisenken. While he had sealed the arts themselves away, nothing was stopping Ranma from using them as inspiration for his own techniques. With that thought in mind, and despite his lack of sleep, Ranma hopped down to the ground and headed for the dojo. After all, sleep could wait.
He had training to do.
Preview for the next chapter:
Behind the counter, Kyouta just sat back, relaxing and minding the store while his parents were out. With headphones on his ears and his nose buried in a magazine, he almost missed a customer enter the store.
Not just any customer, but a cute girl. She didn't look to be older than sixteen and stood just shy of five foot. Wearing a pair of faded blue jeans with a rip in the right knee, a black turtleneck sweater, a pair of black and blue tennis shoes, and with her red hair loose she looked the epitome of cute. Her voice when she spoke, it was like gentle, jingling bells and her eyes flashed in curiosity as she made her request.
"Could you tell me what are the best magazines and books to find information and rumors on the Sailor Senshi?"
Next Chapter: Training by the Light of the Moon
This one is generally going to be the easiest to continue. I just feel like I want to set it aside for now though. The changes aren't going to be heavy, but they will be enough I think that I'm going to keep this version for a measuring stick of my abilities.
And yes, "streams still flowing" is a reference to a song. (I'll look it up again later. I just remember the song being by the band 'Jars of Clay')
Look forward to when I rerelease this one under the title "Winds of Change" (yes, that is what 'Henko no Kaze' is supposed to translate to... though I not totally sure)